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Gibsonguy57

1919 Gibson L-3 Archtop

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Hi! I just bought this 1919 Gibson L-3 and I am in need of an original (preferred) pickguard. I have the mounting clamps but need the guard. Anyone have one they would part with? Any and all leads are appreciated!

 

Thanks!!

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I am in need of an original (preferred) pickguard.

 

You don't want an original pickguard. The reason you have the bracket and no guard is that the original off-gased and crumbled into corrosive and toxic dust. Any celluloid pickguard of the same vintage is subject to (or has succumbed to) the same chemical decomposition.

 

You need to either buy, or have made, a new repro made of modern material.

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You could try contacting http://www.pickguardian.com.

 

The way that these guards deteriorate is interesting. I have a 1911 F-2 mandolin with its original guard in perfect condition with no sign of any off gassing, and an ES-355 a third of the age that is significantly deteriorating. I've seen many old mandolins and a fair few with holes all the way through the guards. Original guards are out there but there are a lot more instruments out there than there are guards, and the only L style guard I remember seeing on Ebay was crazy expensive, pushing the $1K mark!

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It is very interesting! My 1920 F2 pickguard is also in perfect condition. Out-gassing of polymeric materials is what occurs when the plasticizers migrate from the material to the atmosphere. The most common example is the residue that forms on your windshield due to out gassing of your vinyl dashboard. Plasticizers are what give the material flexibility and over time as they migrate from the material it becomes brittle and cracks and otherwise deteriorates. These cracks will form first at locations of higher internal stress like bends, folds, or glue joints. There's one ingredient that tends to encourage and accelerate this process which us UV light like that which comes with sunshine. IMHO, instruments like ours that are in very good original condition tend to have spent most of their lives in their cases and most likely we're not exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods of time. Another factor is the consistency with which the plastics were produced in the first place.

 

Sorry for this prolonged "outgassing"!

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